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Google provides a rare look inside its data centers

October 17, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez

For the first time, Google has invited the world to explore its secretive data centers.

The Internet giant Wednesday took several steps to show users how its data centers work, including putting out a YouTube video, which you can see above.

Among the video's highlights, at the 1:15 mark you can see how Google destroys its hard drives after they break so no one can steal the data.

Recently, Google and others in the tech sphere have come under criticism for their energy-hogging data centers. To give people an idea of what exactly those centers do and what steps the company is taking to use energy efficiently, Google gave Wired's Steven Levy and CBS a firsthand look. You can see the CBS report below, which includes an interview with Urs Hölzle, Google's "infrastructure czar" and senior vice president.

Google said it keeps a tight lid on its data centers to protect user privacy, adding that only a small portion of its own employees are allowed on server floors.

"Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centers, and for good reason: Our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard," the company said in a blog post.

The company launched a new site named Where the Internet Lives that features a lot of information on how Google's data centers work. The site also includes numerous pictures that show technology in all its glory, including this image which looks like it came out of "The Matrix."

Google also expanded its StreetView feature to give a tour inside its North Carolina data center. The tour includes a look at Google employees' awesome lounge area, the various parts of the facility and even some Star Wars characters, as one user on Google+ found.

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